Guided by the Bhagavad Gita
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna (Self) explains to Arjuna (self) that the practice of yoga leads to wisdom and that wisdom is the final goal of every action. The Lord Krishna says to use the sword of wisdom to cut off the doubt in your heart [Arjuna]. I would argue to acknowledge doubt, move with doubt, and act anyways. Without doubt, we may find ourselves alone in the ocean of consciousness for doubt allows us to connect with each other and to find support in a world that would otherwise be so lonely. To act selflessly is to understand one’s place in the greater context of existence. Thus, doubt should not act as a hindrance to wisdom and to purification, but as a way to surrender attachment to outcome and walk steadily on a path of selfless action.
Saying that I believe in myself would imply that I know myself. I cannot say that with conviction. Rather, saying that I have faith in my personal power implies commitment.
Belief is knowing while faith is feeling and feeling means that I have doubt. Lack of doubt would say that my willingness to exist is hollow or heartless. So having faith in my personal power means that I accept doubt and I accept fear but I am still committed in my heart. With faith, I’ve made a promise to devote my thoughts, my words, and my experiences as acts of worship.
If wisdom is the final goal of every action then I will find wisdom by walking through the fire.
Wisdom burns up all attachments to action by purifying intentions and calming the ripples of karma. The cyclical nature of being will have many fires that lead to periods of ashes (of rest). One can act with inaction by surrendering all thoughts of outcome in the midst of devoted action. I will acknowledge fear but I will not surrender faith. I will walk through the fire knowing that everything I need is present within myself because Atman (self) and Brahman (Self) and mutually contained. I must have faith (rather than believe) that the wisdom I seek is already inside of me and I will experience equanimity and contentedness. The wise Self will reveal its power when my mind is freed from desire and from all attachment. Everything that I do, I am. But I am not everything that happens because of my doing.
First let me clarify that the Self is not separate from Nature and that my existence comes from the union of my body (the field) and my consciousness (the knower). It may seem counterintuitive when saying that Nature is the doer and the Self is not. Understand that the Self is present in all things, including Nature, but that Nature gives rise to outcomes (or the conceptual notion of outcome). Nature is the doer, for nature gives rise to the three gunas that cause attachment to joy (sattva), attachment to action (rajas), and attachment to dullness or ignorance (tamas). The three gunas act on the senses to plant seeds of karma that prevent achieving freedom and achieving the highest Self. The wise man is therefore unmoved by manifestations of Nature’s actions. It is knower’s duty to observe and be undisturbed by the gunas acting on the field (the body).
I experience as Atman (self) through Brahman (Self). When I move beyond the gunas, blessed with the yoga of devotion, I will be freed.
Everything that I say, that I eat, that I pray for, that I enjoy, and that I suffer through is an offering to my higher Self (to Brahman). If all of my offerings are given with a loving heart and with relinquishment to results, I will be practicing the yoga of devotion. To act in the Lord’s sake, to meditate on the Lord, and to surrender the fruits of my actions is how I will achieve serenity. In this serenity, I am free of all emotion, free of “I” and “mine”, free of hate, unmoved by pain or pleasure, and fueled by kindness, patience, and stillness. The world does not start nor end with my life in this body. I will continue to exist for I am not defined by life and death.
I Declare that...
Love wins. Love wins in all ways and in all areas of life and it gives us all reason to live. Every action and every decision from the heart is vital to my journey toward equanimity. My soul may be uniquely mine but my existence is universal. My body is a temporary vessel for an existential journey of consciousness and purpose.